Immunohistochemical and Molecular Analysis of Giant Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas: A Report of Three Cases

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We performed molecular biological studies as well as immunohistochemical analysis of three cases of giant cell carcinoma of the pancreas. Histologically, one case was a pleomorphic giant cell carcinoma consisting of pleomorphic giant/ small cells and spindle cells, one an osteoclast-like giant cell tumor composed of osteoclastoid giant cells and pleomorphic small cells, and one a pleomorphic giant cell carcinoma with osteoclastoid giant cells. Immunohistochemically, pleomorphic giant cells and small pleomorphic cells were positive for epithelial and mesenchymal markers throughout the cases. Osteoclastoid cells were strongly positive for PG-MI (CD68), but negative for lysozyme and epithelial markers. Pleomorphic spindle cells showed the same immunoreactivity as pleomorphic gianvsmall cells. Genetically, all cases contained a mutautation in the K-ras (codons 12, 13) oncogene, but neither p53 (exons 5–8) nor p16INK4 (exons 1, 2) gene mutations were found in any case. Furthermore, Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of the p53, p16INK4. APC, and DPC4 gene loci was not found in any of the cases. Immunohistochemical study demonstrated this tumor to be of epithelial origin with mesenchymal differentiation. Genetically, initiation of the tumor is similar to that of usual ductal adenocarcinoma, but progression might be rather different. The peculiar histologic and biologic features of this tumor would be the result of changes in other functional genes.

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